UCT on the back foot

26 May 2008

Going for glory: UCT's JJ Gagiano tries to dodge SK Walmers' Brent Stevens (8), with Pieter Engelbrecht in support. UCT lost 20-30.

FNB UCT's defeat at the hands of SK Walmers on 17 May may well sum up their season in the Western Province Rugby Super League thus far.

They came close - 20-23 towards the end after trailing 8-23 at half-time, and piling on the pressure - but they couldn't clinch the deal.

Yet another "should-have-won" game, according to the team's match report.

Including that game, the UCT side has played six and lost four, and now find themselves in seventh place, well off the pace set by - need we say it? - the University of Stellenbosch's Maties. Although two of those four defeats have been by the narrowest of margins - 14-15 against Durbanville/Bellville, and 23-24 to Maties.

But it's been a gruelling season, says captain JJ Gagiano.

Counting the Varsity Cup, UCT's already contested 15 games in 2008. That's just three less than the 18 the side normally plays over an entire year, with more than half the league games still to go. (And, for good measure, they only had a three-day break between the Varsity Cup final and their first league match.)

"The guys are beginning to feel tired," says Gagiano. "Especially around the shoulders."

There's no panic about the results yet, though.

"We definitely know that we can play better and get the results," says Gagiano.

There's also a little light at the end of the tunnel. The side has three games left for this half of the year, followed by a month's break over which they can recuperate.

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